At least eight dead in Burundi shootings

Gunfire and raids in Burundi’s Bujumbura kill at least eight people

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Unrest in Bujumbura - Archive

At least eight people have been killed overnight in various shootings in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura, an administrator told Reuters.

Most of the victims were civilians, their dead bodies were found with their hands cuffed behind their backs, according to local residents one of the victims was a disabled man using a cane.

The gunfire was accompanied by a series of explosions in several districts in the capital. This recent wave of violence comes after a highly controversial presidential elections, in which the incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza won.

Burundian police forces were allegedly behind the killings, according to local residents. "I do think that these people were killed by the police," a local administrator said.

The police was accompanied by unarmed members of the Nkurunziza’s CNDD-FDD party's youth wing, called Imbonerakure.

Locals said that Imbonerakure youths went door to door with police forces and stole items such as mobile phones from houses.

"In total eight people have been killed; six in Cibitoke and two others in Mutakura neighbourhoods. Police officers were also wounded," Rémy Barampama, the head of Ntahangwa district in which Mutakura and Cibitoke fall, said.

Burundi’s deputy Police Spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye denied any police involvement in the recent violence, killing civilians in particular. Nkurikiye explained the gunfire heard was a result of the police pursuit of certain criminals.

"We had no police element posted close to the scene of the crime. Those people have been slaughtered by those criminals."

Since an ethnically-driven civil war ended in 2005, Burundi has been dragged through its worst political crisis this year.

The bloody unrest over Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza’s third term bid sparked violent protests and plunged the country in an unprecedented crises which killed over 70 people and wounded more than 500.

More than 100,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries since the political violence that culminated in last week's foiled coup attempt erupted in April, according to the UN.

Nkurunziza was announced the winner of the July 21 election following months of street protests and a foiled coup.


TRTWorld and agencies